Dave and I woke up on Australia Day with absolutely nothing planned, which wasn’t ideal because we were meeting up with Josh – one of the friends we made during our 12 day stay in Port Elliot over the Christmas New Year period in 2012. He’d come to Melbourne for some sort of work training in Gembrook and we offered to spend time with him on Australia Day.
Dave drove out to Pakenham to pick up Josh and we all met back at home for a quick cuppa and some Tim Tam slams to discuss what we were going to do for the day.
We decided to do a mini tour of Melbourne and finish up at a pub in Fitzroy. We set off shortly after midday in Dave’s old Holden Premier.
Our first stop was at the Brownstone Brewery for lunch and a beer. Our burger meals were perfectly portioned and went down a treat, and while they were out of their signature Pilsner, we settled for a pot of Little Creatures Dog Days Summer Ale to get us started.
We then cruised through Dandenong and headed for the coast. We’d heard of a craft brewery called True South in Black Rock. When we arrived, the venue was bustling, but they didn’t have any of their own brews on tap so we settled with a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale stubbie and some pints of James Squire 150 Lashes. We hung out on the balcony and looked out at the haze on the horizon – from all the Straya Day BBQs we assumed.
Back on the road, we did a quick stop at Red Bluff lookout, and watched all the Aussies sunbaking on the beach, cooling off in the clear waters of Half Moon Bay, zooming over the water on their jet skis or simple lazing on their boats in the bay. It was a magnificent sight.
The next leg of our cruise lead us through colourful St Kilda. Luna Park was open for business and there were plenty of people hanging out on the foreshore or at one of the many pubs. We also saw that the Espy Hotel had closed down– it’s always sad when a live music institution closes down so hopefully it’s reopened to maintain its legendary reputation.
Once we got to the northern suburbs, we knew it was time to sit and chill out. We met up with our old mate Parksy at the Rainbow Hotel for a few beers. The luscious beer garden was full but not packed and the cold beers were constantly flowing.
Dinnertime rolled around quickly so we made our way to the Commercial Club for some great pub grub. Dave satisfied his pork schnitzel craving while Juz and Josh had the chicken parma. Another perfectly portioned meal.
With the sun setting over the still-hazy horizon (from all the Straya Day BBQs), we set off towards Pakenham and dropped Josh off. It was great to hang out with him on Australia Day. We hadn’t seen him for three years, since we left Port Elliot in January 2013, and maintaining that connection is really special to us.
Happy Australia Day to everyone – we hope you had fun, celebrated with the people you love, and demonstrated the true colours of Australia Day.